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Section 13 Amendment


Reform of Section 13 Fisheries Act 1996

2007 - 2008

Parliamentary decision

On Tuesday 23rd September the Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment Bill (No.2) received its second and third reading in Parliament. Royal assent was given on 27th September. The Bill has now been enacted as the Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment Act 2008 (08/96).

Background

In January 2008 the High Court ruled that the Minister of Fisheries acted unlawfully when trying to use section 13 of the Fisheries Act 1996 to reduce the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) in the North Island orange roughy fish stock, Orange Roughy 1 (ORH1).

As a result of Justice Miller’s decision the Minister, Jim Anderton, has gained Cabinet approval to initiate a process to urgently amend section 13 of the Act to enable Ministerial decisions to be made using current practice.

On April 7th 2008 commercial and non-commercial fishing representatives were invited to an urgent meeting in Wellington to discuss the proposed section 13 amendment. Changes to other parts of the Fisheries Act were not being considered.

Non-commercial representatives responded hastily and sent two people to the Wellington meeting on April 10th. Both representatives were briefed by the Kahawai Legal Challenge team before their departure and later reported back to the KLC team, the Hokianga Accord, New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council and option4 teams.

Amendment Bill

Despite repeated requests to MFish no record of the Wellington meeting was ever provided. No advice of progress was received before non-commercial fishing representatives became aware that MFish, the Seafood Industry Council (SeaFIC) and Te Ohu Kaimoana (TOKM) had worked together to draft an amendment to section 13 of the Fisheries Act.

Select Committee process

A limited number of interest groups were offered the opportunity to talk about the Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment Bill (No.2) with the Primary Production Select Committee. A hearing was held on August 7th in Wellington. Five representatives attended the hearing and spoke in more detail about the joint submission from option4, the Hokianga Accord and the NZ Big Game Fishing Council.

Select Committee decision

On August 22nd the Primary Production Committee reported back to Parliament. It has recommended the Amendment Bill be passed with a few, minor changes to the text.

 

Contents Alert #14
Correspondence and process - post hearing Alert #14
Submissions to Select Committee Survey form
Correspondence and process - pre hearing Survey feedback
Reference documents Timeline of events

Please note: Latest documents are at the top of each section.

Section 13 Amendment

Correspondence and Process - Post hearing

Maori customary interests in s13 process

An outline of Maori customary interests' involvement in the Ministry of Fisheries' process to amend section 13 of the Fisheries Act 1996.

16 Oct 08

(Pdf 140Kb)

Amendment becomes law

The section 13 amendment is given Royal assent on 27th September and takes effect as of the 28th September 2008. It is now the Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment Act 2008.

28 Sep 08

(Pdf 170Kb)

Alert #14 - Survey feedback

A selection of comments received in response to the Alert #14 survey. Well worth a read. Then have your say too!

Sept 2008

Alert #14 - Sea's bounty at risk from unsustainable practices

Lowering sustainability thresholds in fisheries management is risky because of the potential to increase commercial fishing at the expense of healthy fisheries and the public's access to food......

17 Sep 08

Media Release

Future fisheries Ministers below sustainability threshold

Non-commercial fishing representatives, both amateur and customary, are adamant the Minister of Fisheries, Jim Anderton, has been thrown a 'hospital pass' with the heavily influenced section 13 advice from MFish........

 

14 Sep 08

(Pdf 30Kb)

Dissection and Rebuttal

An analysis of the Minister of Fisheries' media statement in response to the joint non-commercial statement (below), expressing concerns about the Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment Bill (No.2). The Minister's comments are in black. Blue text represents non-commercial's view.

11 Sep 08

(Pdf 30Kb)

Media Release

Fisheries Ministry Motives Questioned Amidst Sustainability Risks

Non-commercial fishing representatives, both amateur and customary, are raising concerns about the Ministry of Fisheries' motives in rushing legislation through Parliament before the election................

11 Sep 08

(Pdf 20Kb)

Important questions raised and answered

Sustainable fishing put further at risk?

Why are non-commercial fishers so concerned about the proposed amendment to section 13 of the Fisheries Act 1996?

Who will be affected by the amendment?     Answers here....................

Sept 2008

(Pdf 30Kb)

SeaFIC analysis of Amendment Bill

Amendment update by Seafood NZ, a fishing industry magazine. A different spin on what actually happened at the Select Committee hearing.

Sep 2008

(Pdf 260Kb)

Select Committee Report

The Primary Production Committee recommends to parliament that the Amendment Bill be passed with a few, minor amendments to the text. The major focus on maximum justifiable catch, as opposed to achieving the purpose of the Act, remains intact.

22 Aug 08

(Pdf 140Kb)

Media Release

Undemocratic collusion of industry and Ministry undermines sustainable fisheries. Media release concerning the proposed section 13 amendment from the Hokianga Accord, the NZ Big Game Fishing Council and option4.

21 Aug 08

(Pdf 30Kb)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the issue with the proposed section 13 amendment?

Why are MFish and the Minister advocating urgency to amend the legislation when none exists?

Answers to these and many other questions are available here.............

21 Aug 08

(Pdf 30Kb)

Political Party Analysis - Check out what your MP said.....

An analysis of the different political party's stance on the Amendment Bill. This contains excerpts from the Hansard record of parliamentary debate. The full commentary of that debate is below.

Aug 2008

(Pdf 40Kb)

SeaFIC analysis of Amendment Bill

Analysis of the Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment Bill (No.2) by Seafood NZ, a fishing industry magazine.

Aug 2008

(Pdf 130Kb)

Submissions to Primary Production Committee

Anton's Seafoods Limited submission to the Select Committee. Anton's oppose the Amendment Bill, but on different grounds to the reasons put forward in the joint non-commercial submissions. A late submission as Anton's were not originally invited to submit.

Caution: Large file 3.7MB

19 Aug 08

(Pdf 3.7MB)

Hilborn 2006 paper referred to in the Anton's submission.

A supplementary submission from the Hokianga Accord, option4 and the NZ Big Game Fishing Council addressing the concerns raised during the Select Committee hearing on August 7th.

11 Aug 08

(Pdf 90Kb)

Primary Production Select Committee hearing in Wellington. A team of five from the Hokianga Accord, option4 and the NZ Big Game Fishing Council attended the hearing and spoke with the politicians.

7 Aug 08

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society submits in support of the intention of the Amendment Bill, provides some modification to the Bill's wording and advocates for a more comprehensive review of sections 10, 13 and 14 of the Fisheries Act 1996.

7 Aug 08

(Pdf 50Kb)

A comprehensive submission from the Hokianga Accord, option4 and the NZ Big Game Fishing Council asking for the Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment Bill (No.2) to be withdrawn.

5 Aug 08

(Pdf 140Kb)

Greenpeace NZ supports the Amendment Bill with the provisos and changes suggested in their submission. Greenpeace representatives also attended the hearing and spoke with the Select Committee.

4 Aug 08

(Pdf 90Kb)

The NZ Recreational Fishing Council's submission to the Primary Production Committee prior to its appearance at the hearing. The Council supports the proposed amendment on condition that there are no negative outcomes for amateur fishers.

4 Aug 08

(Pdf 90Kb)

Submission on the Fisheries Amendment Bill from the Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ. ECO supports changes to section 13 of the Fisheries Act and suggested some changes to the text.

3 Aug 08

(Pdf 400Kb)

Correspondence and Process - Pre hearing

Dissection and Rebuttal

An analysis of the proposed amendment - section 13(2A). This document is a dissection and rebuttal of the Ministry and Minister of Fisheries' claims made in the Bill's Explanatory Note given to parliament.

Aug 2008

(Pdf 50Kb)

Invitation to option4 from the Primary Production Committee, to give evidence to the Select Committee at the hearing scheduled for 7th August. option4 responded confirming its attendance as joint submitters with the Hokianga Accord and the NZ Big Game Fishing Council.

31 Jul 08

(Pdf 20Kb)

First Reading of Amendment Bill continued.....

The first reading of the Amendment Bill continues in parliament a week after its first introduction. These notes have been highlighted.

29 Jul 08

(Pdf 540Kb)

Email from Terry Lynch, MFish's Policy Manager, advising the section 13 amendment Bill has been introduced into the House, would be referred to the Primary Production Committee and reported back by 25 August.

25 Jul 08

(Pdf 20Kb)

First Reading of Amendment Bill

Jim Anderton introduces the Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment Bill No.2 to parliament on 24th July 2008. This Bill seeks to amend section 13 of the Act and alter the way the Minister of Fisheries sets the total allowable catch (TAC). The Bill gets the immediate support of the National Party.

24 Jul 08

(Pdf 400Kb)

Fisheries Act Amendment Bill

Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment Bill No.2, as introduced to parliament on 24th July 2008. This Bill seeks to amend section 13 of the Act and alter the way the Minister of Fisheries sets the total allowable catch (TAC).

July 2008

(Pdf 140Kb)

Email from MFish's Policy Manager advising the section 13 amendment proposal is progressing and that a Bill would be introduced into parliament the following week.

18 Jul 08

(Pdf 60Kb)

MFish letter to all stakeholders updating information relating to a proposal to amend section 13 of the Fisheries Act 1996, before the end of the current parliamentary term. Sent by email with the message dated 18 July (above).

15 Jul 08

(Pdf 240Kb)

An outline of the review of sections 13 and 14 of the Fisheries Act 1996, by the option4 team. This document offers a brief description of the problem and a solution to address the current impasse and enable sustainable fisheries management.

May 2008

(Pdf 60Kb)

The Hokianga Accord, in conjunction with the NZ Big Game Fishing Council and option4, write to the Minister of Fisheries and offer to assist in the development of an alternative approach to enable TACs to be set to achieve both the purpose of the Act and more fish in the water.

18 Apr 08

(Pdf 30Kb)

An overview, by non-commercial fishing representatives, of the discussion held during the April 10th meeting with MFish, commercial fishers, environmental and non-commercial fishing interest group representatives.

11 Apr 08

(Pdf 40Kb)

Ten fishing representatives attend urgent meeting in Wellington to discuss a section 13 amendment with four MFish staff. Non-commercial environmental, customary and amateur fishing representatives seemed to have a common desire of increasing the biomass of fish stocks for sustainability and utilisation, as defined in section 8 of the Fisheries Act.

10 Apr 08

MFish invitation to an urgent meeting in Wellington, to discuss the effects of the High Court judgment, the necessity for urgency and the potential form of an amendment to section 13.

7 Apr 08

Discussion document from MFish describing the background issues and setting out the options to amend section 13 of the Fisheries Act 1996.

7 Apr 08

(Pdf 50Kb)

References

Primary Production Committee

Details of the eight Primary Production Committee members, from the Labour, National and NZ First parties.

July 2008

(Pdf 20Kb)

High Court decision

High Court judgment in favour of Antons Trawling Ltd, ruling the Minister of Fisheries acted unlawfully when he used section 13(2) of the Fisheries Act to reduce the Total Allowable Catch in Orange Roughy 1.

(Caution: Large file 2.4MB)

22 Feb 08

(Pdf 2.4MB)

Appeal Court decision

Interim Order from the Appeal Court in relation to the challenge from Antons Trawling Ltd to the Minister of Fisheries’ decision to reduce the Total Allowable Catch and Total Allowable Commercial Catch in Orange Roughy 1.

(Caution: Large file 900Kb)

19 Nov 07

(Pdf 900Kb)

Fisheries Amendment Bill

Previous attempt to amend the Fisheries Act 1996 due to the challenge against the Minister of Fisheries’ decision to reduce catch levels in Orange Roughy 1. Section 10 was the focus in late 2006 and early 2007.

2006-07

Fisheries Act Purpose - Section 8

The purpose of the Fisheries Act 1996 - sustainable utilisation of fisheries. The High Court described this as, "….on plain reading of s8 the bottom line is sustainability. That must be the Minister's ultimate objective. Without it, there will eventually be no utilisation".

1996

(Pdf 20Kb)

Fisheries Act Sustainability measures - Section 13

Section 13 sets out the basis for how the Minister of Fisheries will set a total allowable catch limit that will maintain the fishery at or above a level that can produce the maximum sustainable yield....

1996

(Pdf 20Kb)

Fisheries Act Sustainability measures - Section 14

Section 14 sets out an alternative process describing how the Minister of Fisheries can set a total allowable catch limit for a fishery listed in Schedule 3, to better achieve the purpose of the Act.

1996

(Pdf 20Kb)

Fisheries Act Sustainability measures - Section 14A

Section 14A sets out the basis for how the Minister of Fisheries can set an alternative total allowable catch limit that will better achieve the purpose of the Act. Both agreement from 95% of quota owners and no detrimental effects on non-commercial fishing interests are required before this section can be applied.

1996

(Pdf 20Kb)

Fisheries Act Sustainability measures - Section 14B

Section 14B sets out how the Minister of Fisheries can set an alternative total allowable catch limit for a fishery so that commercial fishers can exploit another fishery without being constrained by the first catch limit. Both fisheries need to be maintained above a level that ensures its long-term viability.

1996

(Pdf 20Kb)

Fisheries Act Sustainability measures - Section 14C

Section 14C sets out the process for declaring that section 14B no longer applies to a fishery. Either section 13 or 14 would then need to be applied to that fishery.

1996

(Pdf 20Kb)

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